IRS Revised Tax Guide Available
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) 2009, taxpayers enjoy a host of tax breaks among which are the making work pay credit for workers, first-time home owner’s credit for those buying a house for the first time in 3 years, opportunity credit for parents of college students, energy credits for those making energy saving home improvements or renovations, deduction of sales and excise tax for new car buyers and the expanded child tax credit and earned income tax credit for lower wage earners.
It can be quite a big task for any taxpayer to be familiar with his or her rights under the new legislation. Therefore, the IRS has been publishing a tax guide for the last 65 years to educate the taxpaying public of their tax break entitlements. In light of the many new tax benefits under the ARRA, the IRS has made extensive updates and revisions to this guide, called Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax. This meaty 308-page guide is available from the IRS’ website, irs.gov and contains more than 6,000 links for easy navigation and quick answers to questions. To find it, go to irs.gov and type ’17’ into the search box.
Besides details of your tax breaks you will also find basic information like how to fill up forms, what income to report, how to report various types of income, making dependants claims, how to calculate capital gains tax, how to use IRAs and when to choose itemized deductions over standard deductions.
Hard copies of Publication 17 are also available for free when you call 800-TAX-FORM.
Dallas IRS Man Admits to Corruption
Fernando Hernandez, 33, an IRS worker from Dallas pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe in exchange for not auditing a public official. The incident took place in June 2005 when Hernandez sought after and accepted a bribe amounting to $2,000 in order to ‘overlook’ the tax irregularity of a taxpayer and not issue an audit. The exact identity of the giver of the bribe is not immediately known.
Hernandez was arrested last October 9 at his IRS office but has been freed on a personal recognizance bond. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in a federal penitentiary and a possible whopping $250,000 fine.
Sentencing has been set for March 29.
Phishing for Your Tax Details
As tax filing season draws near, you can bet there will be certain people who take advantage of this for fraudulent motives. Since the government has made it convenient to file your taxes online, some tricksters have taken advantage of this to con unsuspecting taxpayers.
An email has been circulating purportedly from the IRS saying that you are due for a stimulus payment and the IRS needs your personal details such as bank account, social security and debit card numbers to facilitate payment.
Remember this – the IRS NEVER asks for any information via email. You will get a letter with a telephone number so that you can call the IRS and know who you are dealing with. And certainly never give your personal details over the Internet. The IRS does not need to know your social security number – they already know it.
Check out more IRS Reports stories by clicking that link.
Law Offices of Darrin T. Mish, P.A.: Tax Attorney
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